Coalition frontbencher Tony Abbott says he is very disappointed Peter
Costello is leaving politics, calling him one of the “great heroes” of
the Liberal Party.

In an interview with Fairfax newspapers, the
former federal treasurer Peter Costello has definitively ruled out
running for the Liberal leadership.

Costello says he will stay on as a backbencher until he is ready to leave parliament.

Abbott said he was very disappointed by Costello’s decision to leave politics.

disappointed for our country, for our party, most of all I’m
disappointed for Peter, because I think he will live forever with this
haunting sense of what might have been,” he told ABC television tonight.

“But look, he has made his choice, he will have to live with it.”

Abbott said Costello was “one of the great heroes of the Liberal
Party” and “one of the great characters of Australian politics”.

think it’s fair to say a lot (of people) will be disappointed, because
plainly these aren’t the greatest days for the federal Liberal Party.”

Abbott said he thought the end of speculation about Costello’s
intentions would make Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson’s job easier.

“I think the important thing is to get on with the job, and that was what Brendan was doing today.”